We tend to look after the things we can see. We brush our teeth, cut our hair and moisturize our skin. However, we sometimes forget to do the things that help us look after what’s on the inside. It’s easy to forget about heart health until something goes wrong. So, if you’ve put your heart on the back burner, it may be time to start making changes. Here are a few ways you can keep your heart as healthy as possible.
Get a Check-Up
When it comes to any aspect of your health, it’s not wise to wait until you notice something wrong before you get checked out. Going for a yearly check-up is the best way to identify any problems before they become too difficult to treat. Your heart health is one of the most important aspects of your health. Your medical advisor can tell you about your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels, and your weight. You can get help if you need to adjust anything to do with your health.
It goes without saying that exercise is good for your heart. However, what type of exercise is best for your heart? Doing intense exercise every day can actually damage your body, including your heart. When you want to make sure you’re doing the best for your heart health, get twenty minutes of moderate exercise every day. It could mean going for a jog before you start work or taking a quick yoga class on the weekend. Swimming is also an excellent choice for heart health.
When you’re busy throughout the day, staying hydrated can be easier said than done. However, dehydration can cause a lot of damage to the body, especially your heart. You may experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and a dry mouth if you become hydrated. Dehydration can also lead to heart attacks when you already have heart damage. Read more about heart attack symptoms in men. Take a bottle of water with you wherever you go and make a habit of drinking throughout the day.
Did you know that if you make a healthy snack choice at least twenty times a week it will start to become a habit? Grabbing the carrot sticks instead of the donuts is going to do your heart much better in the long run. Of course, indulging in a few treats here and there isn’t going to hurt but fruits and vegetables should be what you’re eating for your heart. Foods like apples and red peppers are fantastic.
Be Mindful of Cholesterol
Bad cholesterol is very damaging to the heart. A visit to your doctor can help you distinguish whether you need to make changes because of cholesterol levels. You can lower your levels by adjusting your diet. Foods that are high in fat will increase your cholesterol so you need to be mindful of what you’re eating. Meats like chicken and turkey are better choices and low fat or fat free dairy products can make a huge difference.
Smoking is bad for your health in general. However, two organs that suffer the most are the lungs and heart. Smoking can cause your heart to age prematurely and take years off your life. It isn’t always easy to stop smoking, even with your health in mind. If you feel you need to stop smoking but aren’t sure where to start, your doctor should be able to point you in the right direction. You could start by using chewing gums and patches but if you find you need more support, there are also groups you can attend and online forums you can join. Talking to someone going through the same thing on your bad days can make all the difference.
Tackle Your Weight
Your weight plays a big role when it comes to your heart health. Excess weight can put a huge strain on your heart, putting you at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. One of the best ways to lose weight when it comes to your heart is to lower the portion size of your meals. Lowering portion size means you’ll consume less calories, but you still get to enjoy your favourite meals. Any kind of diet should also be paired with exercise if you hope to see results quickly.
Keep a Positive Attitude
It can be difficult to make lifestyle changes in order to maintain a healthy heart. So, if you happen to fall off the wagon when it comes to quitting smoking or you eat something unhealthy when you shouldn’t have, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Keeping a positive attitude will help you to implement the changes you need to, to become an all-round healthier person. Staying positive and focused will also mean you won’t suffer from as much stress. Stress is another thing that can have a negative effect on heart health. If you find yourself over stressed and you feel that it’s affecting your health, take some time off work and have a well-deserved vacation. If your stress levels are more serious than that, you need to seek some medical advice.
Pat Yourself on the Back
If you’re trying to make changes to your lifestyle, you should be commended. It is an achievement in itself to keep up with a healthy routine, never mind drop unhealthy habits. Give yourself the credit you deserve by rewarding yourself in some way. Perhaps the money you save by not smoking could be put towards a new outfit or meal out with your partner. The work you’re doing should be recognized so you don’t feel like it’s all work and no reward. Put some time aside to treat yourself and when you visit the doctor for a check-up, get a print out of the results so you can see your progress on paper.
Your heart health is so important, and although it may take a lot of work to keep your heart healthy, the way you feel will certainly be worth it.
This is a contributed post and therefore doesn’t necessarily represent the views or opinions of this blog or its author.